Earnhardt daughter on midwest rodeo circuit

As the daughter of the late Dale Earnhardt and the half-brother of current NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt Junior, Taylor Earnhardt-Putnam could already be considered racing royalty.

But her need for speed comes on four hooves instead of four wheels.

Grandfield a thankful fair queen

Mikala Grandfield was an honor roll student at Cerro Gordo High School, but had the district feeling she did not come off that way during the interview segment of the Piatt County Fair Queen Pageant competition, held June 16 in Cerro Gordo.

Retracing a trail 'of lament'

Pastors and professors alike were part of a Potawatomi Trail of Death re-enactment that traveled through the area last week, giving the six-day exercise both a spiritual and academic feel as the group wound its way from Indiana through Illinois and Missouri into Kansas.

Bike ride to recognize Bensyl

The annual Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) ride is always an emotional roller coaster for those who mount their bicycles to ride from Alton to Chicago.

Traffic change for Monticello Freedom Fest

Piatt County Sheriff’s officials have announced that the bridge carrying Route 105 over Interstate 72 in Monticello will be made one-way for several hours on July 3 to accommodate the 6,000 to 8,000 people expected to attend the annual Freedom Fest at Lodge Park.

Elevator fixed at courthouse

There was very little disruption of Piatt County Courthouse business last week after a control relay that operates the elevator generated smoke in the attic and prompted officials to evacuate the downtown Monticello building.

Former Monticello officer arrested

In a minutes-long court hearing the afternoon of June 24, former Monticello police officer and current Champaign police officer Jerad Gale was told he could spend as many as 30 years in prison if convicted of sexually assaulting a former girlfriend in Champaign County in November 2013.

Trail Blazers Rodeo June 25-27

The 61st Piatt County Trail Blazers Rodeo kicks off Thursday, June 25 at the rodeo grounds on Old Route 47 north of Monticello. The grounds will open at 5 p.m. and the rodeo starts at 7:30 p.m. A portion of ticket sales opening night go to the American Cancer Association.

Taxes due June 29

Piatt County Treasurer/Collector, Tim Pankau, reminds Piatt County taxpayers that the first installment of real estate taxes will be due June 29. Any payments made after June 29 will be delinquent and subject to a 1.5 percent late penalty per Illinois Statute 35 ILCS 200/21-15. The statute calls for the penalty to be assessed at 1.5 percent per month or any portion thereof.

Trio of Piatt County schools among lowest tax rates in area

You don’t hear schools chant “we’re No. 27” very often. But it’s a pretty proud mantra when it comes to comparing real estate tax rates.

A review of school district tax rates for a five-county region in central Illinois shows three Piatt County schools in the bottom 10, meaning their tax rates are among the lowest in the area.

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